Baymax toy?

So when I bought takeout today, they gave me this… Okay.

Baymax in the box.
Baymax in the box.

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Teardown & Reverse Engineering: Smart Card Reader (Images)

Recently a (quite wasteful) tax metering system upgrade generated loads of e-waste and a good source of dumpster diving. I scored a set of such tax metering hardware for PCs. I got the disused boards and peripherals, but not the computer itself.

I decided to check how much of the disused system I can repurpose and reuse in my own designs.

Insides of the card reader.

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My take on Christianity, Science and others

I know very well that I do not really have a say in such matter, but hey, I can vent, can’t I?

Before you start questioning my background and the justification behind my venting, I would like to introduce myself here.

I am born in a place that Christianity is not mainstream belief, and the familial tie to Christianity is becoming weak. My Grandma is Protestant due to her upbringing but she did not brought her daughters up religiously, one of them being my mother. However I was the curious tag-along kid in the church with my beloved Grandma and the prayers left me pretty impressed. She told me that what the father is teaching there is how to be a good person: be nice to everyone and everything. Somewhere in my brain, I vaguely remember that my Grandma, in the church, was called Grace.

However the happy tag-along kid in church days ended when I entered primary school. The education system in this country is extremely anti-religion. I have to suppress my beliefs for so long that I almost gave up Christianism in total. It was when I was in 9th grade and I was transferred to another campus of my middle school (there is so little land available in the city that some middle and high schools have to be broken up into small campuses across a few locations) and it was located very close to Grace Church, one of the oldest Protestant churches in the city, and the lights for the Christmas Eve masses there is really splendid, shining from this old, small church piercing the bright light of the city in the night.

It was that fateful Christmas Eve that I bought a copy of the Bible for my grandma, still remembering her Christian roots, and being reminded of it by her small Holy Cross necklace. It was my first Christmas gift for my Grandma, and also the first copy of Bible I bought. I was inconsiderate, and the copy I bought was printed in too small font that she cannot read easily. That night, I read Bible stories with her, and she told me that this entire book of Bible is to teach its reader how to be a better person by being nice to everybody and everything.

It was the senior year of my high school, and again, another Christmas. I was still at the campus near Grace Church, but that night it was a rush as I was pretty late when I left school and I still have a backpack full of homework that due the next day. (It is normal in high school here, being extremely stressful, due to how the college entrance exam is organized.) I somehow suddenly remembered my Grandma and her too-difficult-to-read Bible, and ran to the local church, once was where I tagged along my Grandma in the masses, now moved a bit further from where I live and surrounded in a highway interchange complex (it was built before the highway, and never moved and kept open during the interchange complex is added to the nearby highway.) My mom even gave me special allowance for this. I made sure I bought a copy with bigger letters so that my Grandma, in her 80s, can read easily. Another Christmas Eve, another night of reading Bible stories (after I finished my homework, of course) and for another night I felt like that little, care free tag-along kid again.

The dreadful College Entrance Exam is quickly approaching, and I was well prepared in every but Chinese. I was never good in that subject but it packs quite a lot of credits in the final grades of the test, which determines which college I can go to. I asked my Grandma and she permitted me to borrow the small copy of Bible as reading material. Together with the Analects of Confucius, I managed to get myself into a decent college.

My Grandma passed away during my second year in college. That year was a double blow actually because my equally beloved Grandpa also passed away. My grades dropped sharply (and I am still paying for this mistake) but that night my mom & I packed up our stuff before moving out temporarily so that the apartment I grew up can be renovated, I was greeted with the two copies of Bible again.

The rest of this post is going to be long, boring and probably offending for those who do not hold a similar opinion as mine. Read on with very, very great care, and comment carefully.

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Me singing Let It Go from Frozen

I have wanted to do this for a while now, so cross this off my bucket list for now.

Rounding up my year

The year 2014 is about to end, and here I am, rounding it up.

I finally started to tie up loose ends in my college years although it seem to me that it may be too late and may will result in an extra year in school. My research paid off though, with several patents in waiting although I really don’t have the time and resource to research them all in depth. One of them, the translation assistant, is my graduation project so that will receive some in-depth development but other than that it is all meh.

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Warning: SSH root password hacking

I am pretty surprised to find out this is happening when I was debugging my L2TP/IPSec tunnel: someone is trying very hard to guess my root password over SSH. A quick check proved to me that my private cloud is under attack too.

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Enforcing SSL

Somehow destiny brought me to StartSSL, a company that provides free SSL certificates. This prompted me to replace all existing CACert certificates and enforcing SSL on all publicly available entry points: blogs, bug tracker and git code repository.

If you have previously added the CACert root certificate to access my website, please remove them now as public entry points no longer requires that, and new entry points will be added with similar StartSSL (or other free services’) certificates.

After Ever After series: serious issues from a Disney point of view

Jon Cozart, the creator of the YouTube channel Paint, beyond pulling off quartets with himself, made a point in some serious issues from the point of view of Disney characters, mainly princesses. I am trying to break it down and have a little review.

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Build Debian Almquist Shell (dash) for OS X (GNU bash ShellShock part 2)

Even after pushing bash to 4.3.26, the aftershock of ShellShock (pun intended) is still there, as a developer commented that even the bash43-026 patch is still a “whack-a-mole” job.

Since my other main operating system is Ubuntu and the 3rd most common used is Debian jessie/sid, I am replacing /bin/sh with dash, Debian Almquist Shell, at least for now.

Continue reading Build Debian Almquist Shell (dash) for OS X (GNU bash ShellShock part 2)

GNU bash ShellShock bug and how to fix it on OS X

Update: A new bash patch is released as bash-4.3.26. This article is updated to include the new patch.

Recently another UNIX bug broke out: ShellShock bug in GNU bash, the most commonly-used UNIX shell. It allowed arbitrary code execution. which is bad.

Test code, if you want to check:

env "() { ;:}; echo gah" bash -c "echo test"

If you see both gah and test, your system is vulnerable! Read on!

Continue reading GNU bash ShellShock bug and how to fix it on OS X